Elon Musk has offered clarification after former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson announced that he will be hosting a new show on the free speech-promoting social media platform.
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Tucker was fired from Fox News by Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott on April 21st shortly after hosting what would turn out to be his last programme Rupert Murdoch-owned network.
As per a report by Axios, this decision was allegedly reached after legally damaging information related to Tucker was uncovered during outlet’s recently settled Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit.
Since Carlson’s abrupt ousting – which was so sudden that he didn’t even have a chance to either address his ousting or properly sign off to his viewers – Fox News’ ratings have been abysmal, plummeting from a very respectable three million viewer average during its 8 p.m. slot. to a significantly lower 1.65.
According to The Washington Post, “The disparity was most stark on Wednesday, when Kilmeade’s 8 p.m. hour received an average of 1.3 million total viewers, compared with the 3 million Carlson received a week earlier — a decline of 56 percent.”
The outlet also notes that Fox News has “experienced a 45 percent viewership decline” in the aftermath of Carlson’s firing.
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Remaining silent on his firing for an entire week, Carlson eventually addressed the topic on April 26th, taking to Twitter to condemn the mainstream media’s lack of transparency in recent years.
“In five years we won’t even remember that we had [debates],” he opened his video, which impressively garnered over 45 million views in the first 12 hours it was live. “Trust me, as someone who’s participated. And at the same time, and this is the amazing thing, the undeniably big topics — the ones that will define our future — get virtually no discussion at all.”
Good evening pic.twitter.com/SPrsYKWKCE
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 27, 2023
“War, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, national resources,” are amongst the relevant topics Carlson listed, later inquiring, “When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues?”
“It’s been a long time,” he asserted. “Debates like that are not permitted in American media. Both political parties, and their donors, have reached consensus on what benefits them, and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it.”
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This Tuesday, Carlson took to social media to not only once again criticise the current state of America’s media, but also reveal that he will apparently be launching his own free speech news programme exclusively to Twitter.
“You often hear people say the news is full of lies,” Carlson prefaced his announcement. “But most of the time that’s not exactly right. Much of what you see on television, or read the New York Times, is in fact true in the literal sense.”
“It could pass one of the media’s own ‘fact checks,'” he elaborated. “Lawyers would be willing to sign off on it. In fact, they may have. But that doesn’t make it true. It’s not true.”
We’re back. pic.twitter.com/sG5t9gr60O
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) May 9, 2023
“At the most basic level, the news you consume is a lie. A lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind,” Carlson argued. “Facts have been withheld on purpose. Along with proportion and perspective. You are being manipulated.”
Providing an example to help illustrate how the media manipulates the news, the news anchor asserted, “If I tell you that a man has been unjustly arrested for armed robbery, that is not, strictly speaking, a lie. He may have been framed.”
“At this point there has been no trial so no one can really say,” he explained. “But if I don’t mention the fact that the same man has been arrested for the same crime six times before, am I really informing you? No, I’m not. I’m misleading you.”
“And that’s what the news media are doing,” Carlson then declared. “In every story that matters, every day of the week, every week of the year.
“The best you can hope for in the news business, at this point, is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can,” he added, before warning, “But there are always limits.”
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Implying that it was his reporting of the news that may have gotten him fired from Fox News, Carlson stated, “And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it.”
“That’s not a guess — it’s guaranteed,” he declared. “Every person who works in English language media understands that. The rule of what you can’t say defines everything. It’s filthy, really. And it’s utterly corrupting. You can’t have a free society if people aren’t allowed to say what they think is true.”
“Speech is the fundamental prerequisite for democracy,” the conservative personality continued.”That’s why it’s enshrined in the first of our constitutional amendments.”
From there, Carlson then pointed out how, “Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining. In the world. The only one is Twitter — where we are now.”
“Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” he detailed. “Twitter is not a partisan site. Everybody’s allowed here. And we think that’s a good thing. And yet, for the most part, the news that you see analysed on Twitter comes from media organisations that are themselves thinly disguised propaganda outlets. You see it on cable news [and] you talk about it on Twitter. The result may feel like a debate but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge. We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works and we’re sick of it.”
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Finally, Carlson closed out his video by announcing that, “Starting soon we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the past six and a half years to Twitter.”
“Free speech is the main right that you have,” he concluded. “Without it, you have no others.”
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Offering further information on this supposed deal, Musk would retweet Carlson’s announcement later that same day and add, “On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said.
“And of course, anything misleading with get @CommunityNotes,” he explained. “I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.”
“Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (coming soon), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with the content,” the Tesla boss ultimately asserted. “I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform.”
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